Recently, the Palo Alto High School administration announced the implementation of a new policy in the school that will restrict students from taking multiple science courses during their sophomore year. These efforts supposedly serve to reduce student stress. Despite the administration’s efforts, The Campanile strongly believes that this decision was made without the proper consideration of student voice and that the choice of doubling on science courses should be possible.
One of the main issues that has upset students in the implementation of this policy was the lack of communication between the board and the student body upon making the decision to no longer allow students to double up on science courses. The Campanile believes that the perspectives of students should have been heard when making this important decision, considering that the student body will be most affected by this new policy. Students were never given the opportunity to express their opinions on this issue before the decision to finalize this policy was made, meaning that their viewpoints were not taken into consideration and that this decision was made entirely by the administration, which is one-sided and unfair to students.
Additionally, The Campanile believes that one of the main objectives of high school is to provide a time in which students can explore and find their interests — whether those interests lie in art or in science, students deserve an opportunity to pursue their passions. Limiting students’ choices in course selection is limiting their ability to grow academically, their freedom and their opportunities to learn more about a variety of different subjects. While The Campanile acknowledges that preventing sophomores from taking two science courses could lessen unnecessary stress, we believe that this recently enacted policy fails to do so and will instead confine the free will and rights that students hold. The responsibility of choosing courses should be placed in the hands of students — Paly’s administration should not be making these decisions for them.
Moreover, we find that, despite original intents, this policy does not eliminate stress once and for all. Infact, all this will do is postpone the stress onto students’ junior and senior years, years that already come with more stress. Thus, we believe that allowing students to double up on sciences their sophomore year eases stress and gives students more flexibility in creating their later schedules and in arranging their overall courses at Paly.
Ultimately, The Campanile believes that all sophomores at Paly should be given the choice to take more than one science class — this recent policy restricts sophomores’ freedom greatly and proves to serve little purpose. This policy is only going against what high school is aiming to foster: the exploration of ideas and attention of knowledge.